Three of the tall tales in this volume are stories about the fabled Bone pioneer Big Johnson Bone, as written by Tom Sniegoski for the setting invented and illustrated by Jeff Smith. They are framed by Smith’s “Smiley and the Bone Scouts” with the introductory tale “The Powers That Be.” All of them are comedic, without the epic and tragic events that characterize the original Bone series. If that’s what you’re after, though, they deliver. My daughter found them hilarious.
Serially, this book falls after the original triple trilogy, but familiarity with those books in completely unnecessary, and there are no significant spoilers present.
The final volume of the Bone series doesn’t have many surprises. All of the plots that were set up in the earlier numbers play out in a way that seems pretty inevitable, if not outright predictable. There are a few jokes, and lots of chasing and fighting. Comeuppances and rewards (including a hero’s burial) are distributed according to the characters’ merits established before.
I had been holding out for some exciting backstory on Ted the bug, but I was disappointed there. Maybe it’s in one of the prequel supplements: Rose or Stupid Stupid Rat Tails.